Bishop Gorman’s Tyjon Lindsey is ranked the top wide receiver prospect for the Class of 2017 by longtime recruiting guru Tom Lemming of the CBS Sports Network. But Saturday night the explosive 5-foot-8, 165-pounder showed that he can also play a little defense.
It was Lindsey’s interception on Gorman’s 13-yard line late in the third quarter that snuffed out Chandler’s drive for a potential game-tying touchdown and helped lead the Gaels (1-0) to a 35-14 victory over the defending Arizona state Division I champions before a standing room only crowd at raucous Fertitta Field.
Lindsey, a wide receiver/returner in the De’Anthony Thomas/R. Jay Soward mold who already has scholarship offers from schools like USC, Ohio State and Oregon, also caught a 30-yard touchdown pass for what proved to the game-winning touchdown and finished with three receptions for 53 yards. But his pick of a pass by Oregon State-bound quarterback Mason Moran was arguably the turning point of the game.
“I got a ball caught on me for a first down,” Lindsey said. “I just had to stay short-minded and go for the next play. And that’s what I did. I made a play.”
“Big play-makers make big plays and that’s what Tyjon did,” Bishop Gorman coach Kenny Sanchez said. “He stepped up and made a big play there when we needed it.”
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Sanchez was presented the game ball afterward for picking up his first head coaching win for the Gaels after replacing his brother Tony, who left to take over as head coach at UNLV after leading the Gaels to their first mythical national championship and sixth straight state title. Tony Sanchez watched the game from the stands with his family, sitting in front of longtime Gorman boosters Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White of UFC fame.
“Any win feels great, I don’t care if you are an assistant coach or a head coach,” Kenny Sanchez said. “It’s special because we worked so hard in the off season. But I’m happy for the boys. … All the credit goes to them. They’ve been busting their butt since January. I told them that. And all these coaches. They’ve been around just as long as I have. So it’s a team effort from the top to the bottom.”
No doubt there were plenty of high-fives to go around for the Gaels after this one.
* Junior running back Biaggio Walsh rushed for a game-high 97 yards on 14 carries, including a 55-yard touchdown in the first quarter that put Gorman ahead to stay, 14-7, and later sealed the win when he took a middle screen pass from quarterback Tate Martell 18-yards for another TD to make it 28-14.
* Haskell Garrett, one of the nation’s top defensive prospects for the Class of 2017, showed that he can also play a little offense when he plunged in from a yard out for the game’s first score on 3rd-and-goal. Garrett was also a beast defensive up front and along linebackers Ikem Okeke and –remember this name — sophomore Palaie Gaoteote helped shut down a Chandler offense that scored 56 points in its season-opening win over Pinnacle High of Phoenix.
* Junior safety Bubba Bolden had an interception while junior corner Alex Perry, giving up six inches in a matchup with one of the nation’s top wide receiver prospects in 6-foot-4 N’keal Harry, more than held his own.
* Martell, who committed to Texas A&M last week, had a solid but not spectacular start to his 2015 campaign, completing 8-of-17 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions but was held to minus-five yards rushing on four carries.
* The offensive line, led by UNLV commits Jaron Caldwell and Julio Garcia, took over down the stretch as the Gaels rolled up 169 on the ground including 53 yards on nine tough carries by senior Jonathan Shumaker, who capped the night’s scoring with a 22-yard touchdown run.
Moran completed 14-of-28 passes for 124 yards and also rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns for the Wolves (1-1), who lost star running back Chase Lucas early in the first quarter to a right knee injury sustained while returning a kickoff.
“He’s a big impact to their offense,” Garrett said. “I feel bad for what happened to him but we took advantage of it and we played hard as a defense.”
The Gaels have little time to enjoy this one. Next up is a trip to South Jordan, Utah to take on the top team in that state, Bingham (2-0), on Friday night. Bishop Gorman needed overtime to defeat the Miners, 23-20, last year at Fertitta Field en route to the national championshp.
TYJON LINDSEY PHOTO BY JEREMY RINCON
For a more comprehensive highlight package, check out this 10-minute package by Under The Radar.